Friday, 20 February 2015

English Civil War Diary Entry - Number 11

The next diary entry had already been written and so I am uploading it today. The following two parts are already planned and are well on the way to completion for uploading in the next couple of days.

It is surprisingly easy to write the entries, as having the figures to play out the scenes, also adding a little subterfuge makes the stories almost write themselves. I enjoy creating the characters and how I think they would act and speak, totally fictitious of course, and not meant to be a portrait of the real figures in history, just my take on them.

A Slipping Prize.

Maister's Staithe, West Bank of the River Hull.

25th March 1642. 12 noon

The gang had been working to unload the Dutch lugger since seven that morning, they had sweated, cursed and strained every muscle, to unload the cargo of roof tiles. Now the men could take a half hour break to drink the small beer and eat the bread and cheese provided by the owner of the Staithe.

There were lots of staithe's in the town of Hull, private little wharves that covered the whole West bank of the narrow river that split the town from the hugely impressive citadel, just sixty feet away on the opposite bank. Built by old King Henry, to protect the town from the Dutch, French or anyone else who might have wished to capture the town. The guns of the citadel commanded not only the River Hull, but also the River Humber into which it flowed.

The folk of the town also knew that those guns could just as easily be pointed at the town itself, should they show any sign of rebellion or dissent for the law.

Having collected his tankard of beer and food, Tyler Brooks sat at the edge of the staithe with the other workers, his legs hanging over the edge, above the lugger berthed alongside, the tide was out and the wooden ship was now resting on the thick brown silt, only a small channel of water now flowed down the centre of the river's course. That would change when the tide turned and once more all the vessels at the staithes would have plenty enough water to float them.

Tyler munched on his hunk of bread and gazed to the opposite bank, the landing stage for the citadel was located here, and for the second day running, a vessel was moored there. Different ship from yesterday, he had noticed that as soon as he had stepped onto the staithe that morning. But doing the same thing, being loaded with powder, muskets, pikes and other paraphernalia of war.

The rebels are stripping the arsenal of the citadel, no doubt the ship berthed here yesterday, was already on its way to London. It was almost certain this one would follow later today. The arsenal in the citadel was the main reason the King had travelled North, the arsenal contained a vast supply of munitions for the wars against Scotland.

Tyler washed down the bread and cheese with his beer and wiped the back of his sleeve across his mouth. If the king did not soon make a move on Hull, there would be nothing left to equip the armies he was hoping to raise.

When work eventually finished that evening, he called into his favourite haunt, 'The Ship Baltic,' for a few pennies and a bottle of brandy, he would tell of what he had seen today to William. Tyler doubted it was his real name, nor did he really care, he paid for any information that he passed on about the coming and goings in the river, that was all Tyler was concerned about, a few coins and a decent bottle of brandy. He cared not for Royalist or Parliamentarian and would serve either quite happily, if they paid of course! Nor did he care where or to whom his information was passed, none of his business after all...

In fact the information, along with other nuggets of intelligence went directly to the king's forces at York, and to the Earl of Newcastle in particular...
Well there you have it, another character makes himself known and conveniently lets us know what is happening in Hull.

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